Women, Freedom, and Bicycles.

I came very close to going to prison. Not because I had done anything wrong by cycling on U.S. 27, but because the system is flawed. It works for those who have the money to buy the right connections.

Purvi Patel and I were in the same boat but for different reasons. Her story could have very easily been my story. I’d had two late term abortions due to severe fetal anomalies. Even writing the last part of that sentence sits wrong with me. I shouldn’t have to include my private medical information so that you’d feel empathy for me instead of disgust. But there we have it. Rape culture and victim blaming.

I can’t speak for Purvi Patel’s legal council or the laws that were used to charge her. I’m not familiar with either. What I can speak about with confidence is the mixed reactions people had when her story broke. Some people felt empathy, while others wanted to crucify her. I recall trying to raise awareness about her story and a woman wrote to me saying that “she dumped the body in a dumpster!” as though that should seal her fate. It reminded me of the pseudo cycling advocates who say “She’s cycling on the road!” as though that was all the evidence they needed that I was doing something wrong.

I’ve worked in a hospital before as hospital staff. My first experience with hospital waste came from my first summer job I had before college. I was working for the college laundry and we serviced the hospitals dirty linens. The stuff you find in there is shocking. The stuff you see in a hospital is shocking. But it’s only shocking to the people who live in suburban and urban bubbles. People whose closest foray into the medical world is watching edited for T.V. medical dramas don’t understand. Real life is much messier and less black and white.

So they judged her without knowing her and they prosecuted her with barely a peep from Civil Liberties giants like the ACLU.

Recently I saw an article declaring high speed internet in rural locations as our next civil liberties crisis. I thought, wow! What a crock of shit! Huffington post highlighted a story about a man who was struggling to earn enough through his online business to support his family. This has the ACLU galloping to fight for “justice.” Internet is important and it’s a great tool for learning but there are other avenues and no one is having their freedoms destroyed because they can’t connect at speeds greater than 25mbps.

Meanwhile Purvi Patel might very well languish in prison for 20 years because she felt conflicted about a pregnancy, shared those feeling via text msg, and had a miscarriage that was probably more of a relief for her than it was a loss. Then she put the already dead fetus in the trash. Much the same way that your local hospital does. Though most have their medical waste incinerated to prevent biohazards from getting into the environment. It’s all very regulated.

My first late term abortion I opted to have my pregnancy induced. It was just a matter of time and time wasn’t on my side. The baby had at this point died in utero and I was becoming sick. Every woman is different and every woman’s body handles a dead fetus differently. Maybe Nicholas was alive right up until the birth and they told me they couldn’t find a heartbeat to help me feel better. I don’t know. What I do know is that he was dead when he came out and I got to hold a 25 week old fetus in my arms. They are fragile as spun glass. Very tiny too. In fact the anti-choice posters they wave at Planned Parenthood don’t look like 6-12 week old fetus’. They look more like my son Nicholas at 25 weeks. Which is to say that those people are lying to you. They are lying to you when they tell you that Purvi Patel’s baby was born alive. They will feed you half lies and tell you that they are semi truths while denying that a half truth is a whole lie.

Much like this picture of me here.

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*That’s me. Before I learned lane control. I was getting a lot of close in the lane passes. 

The picture is carefully taken to show you what looks like a nice wide shoulder. Looks pretty smooth too. But it’s not and the broken white line you see to my right is the beginning of a turn only lane. The same turn only lane that I used to illegally cycle forward through and almost got killed on one occasion. So I stopped and tried riding further right only to find that the motorists were taking the right turn at such high speeds that they didn’t see me and I almost got killed again. So I said fuck it and started riding in the lane. Where it was legal and safe. Besides broken glass, rumble strips, pot holes, right turning motorists (at high speeds), and intersections. I still had to deal with people rolling coal on me and throwing things at me. One person even tried to run me over while I was attempting to merge onto the shoulder. They passed me on the shoulder and almost struck me. So I said fuck it! I’m not breaking any laws by staying in the right hand lane and that’s where I’m safe, so that’s where I rode.

If you didn’t know all that just looking at the picture would make you question my “morality,” which is an absurd thing to do but it’s what humans do and we as a species are absurd.

The courts didn’t have a legal leg to stand on but with an inept conservative Republican, who is also a Lexington KY road cyclist, for an attorney. One who specialized in contract law and had never conducted a courtroom trial, I was screwed and I knew it. People ask me why I didn’t ask for a continuance when the ASSistant C.A. Eric Wright introduced a new charge at my trial. Mostly I wanted my relationship with my attorney to be over but also because I felt bad for the people who had paid air fare to come out and defend me. I really just wanted the whole thing to be over. I knew my attorney wasn’t prepared to represent me and I knew I was going to lose on those first three tickets. I wanted to win. I wanted to win so bad I could taste it. But the odds were stacked against me and I knew it. Filing an appeal was my next option but the new attorney I hired, thanks to all of your generous donations, advised against it. As did Ohio bike lawyer Steve M. He knew that the case was poorly represented and Steve had given it his best but there was only so much Steve could do with the local attorney who sat through the whole trial like a bump on a log. The guy who filmed my news segment, the one from which the picture is taken and my local attorney are tight. Both cyclists. Both men. They are not bad people. What they are is really out of touch people. People who think Trump is going to make America Great again or that Hillary Clinton has a fighting chance against Trump. They are really out of touch with working class Americans.

My new attorney said we had two options, file a mistrial due to incompetent legal counsel. Which I didn’t want to drag Steve’s name into. Or accept a plea agreement. The plea agreement was only accepted by me because I did not admit to any guilt. That was my one stipulation above all else. Jude Booth had already ruled my cycling on the road was legal.  The City of Nicholasville agreed to drop all charges, have the first three tickets expunged from my record and the fines waived (taxpayer dollars down the drain), and all I had to do was agree to not cycle on U.S. 27 for two years. We threw in that the police had probable cause to pull me over. But I didn’t give a shit about that because the U.S. Supreme court later ruled that cops can pull you over if they “think” you’re breaking a law but you’re not actually breaking a law. Meaning that the cop could think you’ve broken a law or he can make up a law and that would count as probable cause. Like I said the whole system is fucked up. So I gave them probable cause and agreed to not cycle on U.S. 27 for two years. Since U.S. 27 runs directly through downtown and I knew that the county attorney and his crew were as corrupt as fuck. I had no choice but to move away. I couldn’t go to my bank or the grocery store without using U.S. 27 and you know they’d throw my ass in jail for breaking the plea agreement if I said or did anything they didn’t like. Even though I wasn’t cycling on the main road to Lexington it was still U.S. 27 and I didn’t trust those fuckers.

But I would have fought and continued fighting if I wasn’t pressured into moving to Louisville. I really did want to fight but at the same time I didn’t because I was so overwhelmed and tired. Having someone constantly telling me to move and even going so far as to tell us to stay with them was enough to influence my decision.

I think Purvi’s legal team really didn’t have a clue as to how to defend her but I do know they put more effort into it than my local attorney did.

I also know that the same type of people who think I’m against bicycle infrastructure are the same type of people who think that Purvi Patel threw a live infant in the trash. Ignorant, out of touch, privileged, mostly male but some women too, and they are all assholes.

The environment that we are currently living in is so geared away from freedom and the people who live in it are so apathetic that they can’t even get 100k signatures to free Purvi Patel BUT! they get over 100k signatures to ask for the freedom of a man who strangled and killed a woman. 

He might very well be innocent or he may be guilty as hell! But the fact that the New York Times wrote an extensive article showing that Purvi Patel did NOT kill her baby and that it WAS dead before it ever came out of her vagina is still not enough to garner enough interest to reach more than 18k signatures.

As a woman who was getting a lot of hate from the Mountain Biking community, male auto drivers, and an unwarranted amount of hate from the “progressive” male dominated Democrats of Lexington KY; I knew my pooch was screwed. That and I was fucking tired. Tired of the hate, tired of the controversy (where none need exist), and above all else tired of the attention and people hanging on my every word.

I fought Nicholasville KY because I wanted to keep my home and my kids. I wasn’t looking to be the face of cycling. It wasn’t a stunt to bring attention to cycling or even VC cycling. The VC cyclists were the only group that said “Fuck yea! You have the right to cycle anywhere the hell you want!” That and that alone is what attracted me to them.

As I got to know some of them I realized that the group was comprised of assholes too. Just a different kind of asshole. So I dropped out of the group. No one got a hold of me or brainwashed me into Cycling Savvy. I approached it from logic, the law, and personal experience.

I fantasized about a bikeway that had bike lights and riding on a trail with no fucking self entitled motorists.

I hate bike lanes. Not because I hate bike lanes but because the overwhelming majority of them are crap. Pure fucking crap. I cycle less here in Oregon because of them. I still only cycle for transportation. But If I can take the bus, I so will. I still get harassed for lane control. Even though it is specifically legal to control a lane here in Oregon.

Sometimes I see the bike lobby much the same way I see the “right to life” lobbyists. Always crying about life and how precious it is until the life that matters isn’t one they are particularly interested in.

Abortion without apology and Cycling without apology. They are both our civil rights.

Self autonomy and freedom!

Vote Bernie Sanders!

 

*Before I learned about lane control I cycled on the right third of the lane.

 

 

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Irresponsible ads are contributing to child mortality rates.

As a person who commutes solely by bicycle, I am shocked by the inundation of auto ads on T.V. and in my social media news feed.

Maybe it is because I live a auto free life that I notice the frequency of the ads?

I’ve spent a great deal of time educating myself on safety and laws which govern our use of public space. I even have some nifty certifications to show for all that time spent.

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People are being injured and killed at an alarming rate. Traffic fatalities fall in 2014, but early estimates show 2015 trending higher.

Though this isn’t anything new, since the inception of the automobile the death toll has been catastrophic. Americans have recognized the dangers of high auto speeds. It’s a universal knowledge that speed kills. Yet it is often the last reason cited in traffic collision reports. There was a time when people tried to mandate the use of governors to effectively reduce the operating speeds of motor vehicles. Auto manufacturers were understandably alarmed.
Higher awareness about the inherent dangers of speed meant less product sold. Or maybe it was that fewer people would crash and destroy their auto thus requiring the purchase of a new auto?
Either way a slick propaganda campaign was implemented and people were convinced that this was an end to their personal freedom. Never mind the freedom of everyone else.

Companies, such as AAA, which today are known for their emphasis on safety were behind the push to force pedestrians and bicycles off the road.

AAA and other auto clubs turned first to the younger generation, financing safety education programs in the public schools that were designed to teach children that streets are for cars, not for kids. “The Invention of Jaywalking.”

The product, and the financial gains to be had from it, were the driving force behind the movement to all but eliminate the competition.

Once the landscape had been cleared of obstacles, figuratively and literally, the motor manufacturers were free to irresponsibly sell product.
The advertisements were focused on economy, durability, and reliance.
They emphasised the manliness of auto owners and their ability to “Wow” the ladies. One advert emphasised their auto as being so easy “Women and children can safely use it.”, another calls their auto the “Boss of the Road” and “So simple that a boy of 15 can run it.”

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Motor ads were not responsible in the advertisement of their products. They had one mission in mind, to sell as many autos as possible. No matter the cost to human lives.
That cost was excessive. Upto 55,000 people were killed per year by autos. That’s an epidemic!

When faced with a health crisis of these proportions, we take action. Yet we have largely overlooked the consummate dangers to public health by turning a blind eye to auto ads.

We banned ads for cigarettes, as public awareness grew over the dangers of smoking to the public. Big tobacco companies were pushing their product on unsuspecting consumers.

By banning ads for cigarettes public health interests, like W.H.O., have effectively reduced the incidence of smoking. This is an important beginning step to eliminating an expensive and destructive bad habit. The costs of which affect the user individually and the public as a whole. We acknowledged the health risks to the users of tobacco products as well as to those who were subjected to secondhand smoke.

The auto isn’t any different.

The auto is the most dangerous form of transportation available in modern day.

The health impacts are mind boggling. Pollution, cancer causing agents, socio economic suffering, legal systems which punish the poor through a pay to play ticket scheme, the death of our children outside and inside autos, and increased health risks through lack of exercise. It’s all too much to put into one story.

Not too much more can be said, which has not already been said, about the history and nature of the auto.

The automobile is a weapon or a tool. It mainly depends on the ability and intent of the user.

There was a time when the auto filled a need as a personal mobility device. With the expanding use of public transportation and alternate means of travel it is a product whose time has come and gone.

With denser urban areas becoming the norm, revivals in public transit, and auto for hire schemes such as Lyft and Uber; there really isn’t a need for personal autos. Not even for long distance trips. Rent a car and be done with it.

One would think that we’d be over the car kick by now. Except we aren’t.

Part of the reason, I believe, is because of persuasive auto ads. These ads are designed to create a sense of urgent need and a feeling of superiority when on the road.

I really love driving distracted
You know how people are warned about the dangers of distracted driving by Public Service Announcements? Well none of that matters in Auto Ads.

Gas prices are dropping and Auto Ads are increasing. Along with these increases are deaths. Your loved ones are being destroyed by auto culture and you’re ok with it. Not because you’re ok with your loved one being killed, but because you are brainwashed by auto ads to believe you need that product which is killing your loved ones.

Remember cigarette ads on T.V.?

Neither do I. Yet there was a time when they were sold via television ads. So many ads telling people how sexy smoking was, how invigorating, how tasty! Smoking was increasing and so were the illnesses associated with it.

Through the efforts of activists who genuinely cared about the well being of the American people, over the profits of cigarette manufacturers, a ban on television ads were put into place.

In 1964, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreed that advertisers had a responsibility to warn the public of the health hazards of cigarette smoking. In 1969, after the surgeon general of the United States released an official report linking cigarette smoking to low birth weight, Congress yielded to pressure from the public health sector and signed the Cigarette Smoking Act. Via History Channel

This is exactly what we need for auto ads.

We need a full out ban on ads which promote products rated by the CDC as the number one killer of our children.

  • Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 33,000 people died from motor vehicle crashes in 2013 alone.1   Via CDC

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They call it “Unintentional Injuries” but Motor Vehicle collisions are what the majority of them are. When you drive distracted, drowsy, buzzed, high, or like you own the road. It isn’t unintentional.

Driving is not a passive act. It is hard work and you are required to keep your wits about you while you are doing it.

With the huge flux of auto ads telling us that driving is fun, easy, desirable, sleek, sexy, and your ticket to freedom. Is it any wonder that people “feel” like they “need” to drive?

These are all catch phrases that were used to push cigarette ads and yet we were able to fight “the man” and have them kicked off of television and radio.

So why aren’t we doing that for auto ads?

#BanAutoAds

So the next time you see an auto ad pop up in your news feed, be sure and let them know what you find disturbing about it and add the hashtag #BanAutoAds. Your children’s lives depend on it.

You have options on how to get to work and people are fighting to make those options easier and more accessible to you. Help them.

Don’t wait around for special infra as some people will tell you to do. Take an education course such as Cycling Savvy and learn what real freedom actually feels like.

You can safely travel by walking, cycling, public transport, and auto rentals to get you where you need to go.

All that space removed from auto’s gives us more space to build business’, shops, schools, and cultural activities.

#BanAutoAds

Auto companies are gathering slick advertisers to promote their dangerous product to children using cartoons.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Music is good. I’m not into it the way some people seem to be. So I declined from sharing my David Bowie story in the days after his death.

My most memorable David Bowie moment had nothing to do with music.

My step dad is a huge David Bowie fan.

I was about 8 or 9 years old.

It was a typical boring Sunday in our house. Nothing going on outside. Nothing on inside except a movie that my step dad was watching. I couldn’t make sense of the film. At first I thought it was an army movie. I liked those. But then it seemed to focus on this guy and elevate him to godlike status. I felt repelled by this glorification of one lone individual. I’ve always been repelled by hero worship.
As I’m watching the film, I’m trying to decide if I’m going to sit through the whole thing or put on my roller skates and go outside.
The scene shows a man laying in a bed. He has a bandage over his forehead. A man is near him and a woman stands over him. The camera zooms in on his face.
I see what looks like a red flash in one eye and get up close to the TV. The scene cuts to the woman. Boring. So I sit back. Then it shows the man laying in bed and there’s a brief showing of his face.
Excited, I tell my step dad “Hey! That guy has one big pupil and one little pupil.”
My step dad looks at me like I’m all kinds of stupid. “What do you mean one big pupil and one little pupil? He’d be dead if he had that.” Then my step dad launches into an explanation about how David Bowie has one brown eye and one blue eye. He explains that it’s a genetic trait.
I know I’m right. I just don’t know how to explain that I’m right.
I insist that if he were to look closely he would see some blue at the bottom of the colored part of the eye. “It’s his pupil that makes his eye look dark,” I explained.
My step dad told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and that I shouldn’t try to think so much on my own. Other people knew better and I should listen to them.

Only, I was right and he was wrong.

The memory of that stuck with me. I’d like to think that David Bowie is the type of person who would tell my step dad to shut his pie hole and thank me for being astute.

I’ll never understand why people who are wrong refuse to learn. Why they are content to stagnate in their ignorance. What motivates such people to stay stuck on stupid and tear other people down in the process?

I lost all interest in the movie after that.

The distaste that my step dad left with me wasn’t for David Bowie. Though it did set an unpleasant memory in my mind, which I would recall, every time I saw a David Bowie music video.

So after many years down the road. I came across an article discussing David Bowie’s eye condition and how he came to have it. I learned that I was right and my step dad was wrong.
I also learned that some people will blow a lot of smoke and make a lot of bluster when they think they’re right. I also learned that some people can make a lie sound very convincing and use unrelated facts to bolster their belief in their correctness.

I learned not to doubt myself.

An environment of learning is something I’ve always cultivated. If I’m wrong, I want to know why. How did I come to this conclusion erroneously? I’m not doubting you. I’m learning.

Bicycles

David Bowie has not been, to my knowledge, a bicycle person. So the story about my step dad, me, and a David Bowie film have nothing to do with bikes.

But there is a correlation and that correlation has to do with education.

There have been a lot of people over the years telling cyclists to hug the edge of a road for safety. Or that to be in keeping with the law we have to ride hugging the edge.

We don’t have to hug the edge. The law doesn’t require it.
We don’t have to hug the edge. It isn’t safe.
I will continue to explain why I’m right and they are wrong. I won’t always convince you with my limited explanations, but time will tell that I’m right and one day I will have a broader range of evidence to be able to explain it to you in a way that you will understand.

Until then put on your red shoes and ride a bicycle.

 

 

It can happen to you

Originally shared by:

Steve M Williams
December 5, 2015 · Clovis, CA ·
This put me damn near in tears; read this encounter with police that professor Steve Locke went through, and it will explain everything you need to know about being black in 21st century America. If you don’t get it from this then really I’m wasting my time trying to explain it.

“This is what I wore to work today.
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On my way to get a burrito before work, I was detained by the police.

I noticed the police car in the public lot behind Centre Street. As I was walking away from my car, the cruiser followed me. I walked down Centre Street and was about to cross over to the burrito place and the officer got out of the car.

“Hey my man,” he said.

He unsnapped the holster of his gun.

I took my hands out of my pockets.

“Yes?” I said.

“Where you coming from?”

“Home.”

Where’s home?”

“Dedham.”

How’d you get here?”

“I drove.”

He was next to me now. Two other police cars pulled up. I was standing in from of the bank across the street from the burrito place. I was going to get lunch before I taught my 1:30 class. There were cops all around me.

I said nothing. I looked at the officer who addressed me. He was white, stocky, bearded.

“You weren’t over there, were you?” He pointed down Centre Street toward Hyde Square.

“No. I came from Dedham.”

“What’s your address?”

I told him.

“We had someone matching your description just try to break into a woman’s house.”

A second police officer stood next to me; white, tall, bearded. Two police cruisers passed and would continue to circle the block for the 35 minutes I was standing across the street from the burrito place.

“You fit the description,” the officer said. “Black male, knit hat, puffy coat. Do you have identification.”

“It’s in my wallet. May I reach into my pocket and get my wallet?”

“Yeah.”

I handed him my license. I told him it did not have my current address. He walked over to a police car. The other cop, taller, wearing sunglasses, told me that I fit the description of someone who broke into a woman’s house. Right down to the knit cap.

Barbara Sullivan made a knit cap for me. She knitted it in pinks and browns and blues and oranges and lime green. No one has a hat like this. It doesn’t fit any description that anyone would have. I looked at the second cop. I clasped my hands in front of me to stop them from shaking.

“For the record,” I said to the second cop, “I’m not a criminal. I’m a college professor.” I was wearing my faculty ID around my neck, clearly visible with my photo.

“You fit the description so we just have to check it out.” The first cop returned and handed me my license.

“We have the victim and we need her to take a look at you to see if you are the person.”

It was at this moment that I knew that I was probably going to die. I am not being dramatic when I say this. I was not going to get into a police car. I was not going to present myself to some victim. I was not going let someone tell the cops that I was not guilty when I already told them that I had nothing to do with any robbery. I was not going to let them take me anywhere because if they did, the chance I was going to be accused of something I did not do rose exponentially. I knew this in my heart. I was not going anywhere with these cops and I was not going to let some white woman decide whether or not I was a criminal, especially after I told them that I was not a criminal. This meant that I was going to resist arrest. This meant that I was not going to let the police put their hands on me.

If you are wondering why people don’t go with the police, I hope this explains it for you.

Something weird happens when you are on the street being detained by the police. People look at you like you are a criminal. The police are detaining you so clearly you must have done something, otherwise they wouldn’t have you. No one made eye contact with me. I was hoping that someone I knew would walk down the street or come out of one of the shops or get off the 39 bus or come out of JP Licks and say to these cops, “That’s Steve Locke. What the FUCK are you detaining him for?”

The cops decided that they would bring the victim to come view me on the street. The asked me to wait. I said nothing. I stood still.

“Thanks for cooperating,” the second cop said. “This is probably nothing, but it’s our job and you do fit the description. 5′ 11″, black male. One-hundred-and-sixty pounds, but you’re a little more than that. Knit hat.”

A little more than 160. Thanks for that, I thought.

An older white woman walked behind me and up to the second cop. She turned and looked at me and then back at him. “You guys sure are busy today.”

I noticed a black woman further down the block. She was small and concerned. She was watching what was going on. I focused on her red coat. I slowed my breathing. I looked at her from time to time.

I thought: Don’t leave, sister. Please don’t leave.

The first cop said, “Where do you teach?”

“Massachusetts College of Art and Design.” I tugged at the lanyard that had my ID.

“How long you been teaching there?”

“Thirteen years.”

We stood in silence for about 10 more minutes.

An unmarked police car pulled up. The first cop went over to talk to the driver. The driver kept looking at me as the cop spoke to him. I looked directly at the driver. He got out of the car.

“I’m Detective Cardoza. I appreciate your cooperation.”

I said nothing.

“I’m sure these officers told you what is going on?”

“They did.”

“Where are you coming from?”

“From my home in Dedham.”

“How did you get here?”

“I drove.”

“Where is your car?”

“It’s in the lot behind Bukhara.” I pointed up Centre Street.

“Okay,” the detective said. “We’re going to let you go. Do you have a car key you can show me?”

“Yes,” I said. “I’m going to reach into my pocket and pull out my car key.”

“Okay.”

I showed him the key to my car.

The cops thanked me for my cooperation. I nodded and turned to go.

“Sorry for screwing up your lunch break,” the second cop said.

I walked back toward my car, away from the burrito place. I saw the woman in red.

“Thank you,” I said to her. “Thank you for staying.”

“Are you ok?” She said. Her small beautiful face was lined with concern.

“Not really. I’m really shook up. And I have to get to work.”

“I knew something was wrong. I was watching the whole thing. The way they are treating us now, you have to watch them. ”

“I’m so grateful you were there. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Don’t leave, sister.’ May I give you a hug?”

“Yes,” she said. She held me as I shook. “Are you sure you are ok?”

“No I’m not. I’m going to have a good cry in my car. I have to go teach.”

“You’re at MassArt. My friend is at MassArt.”

“What’s your name?” She told me. I realized we were Facebook friends. I told her this.

“I’ll check in with you on Facebook,” she said.

I put my head down and walked to my car.

My colleague was in our shared office and she was able to calm me down. I had about 45 minutes until my class began and I had to teach. I forgot the lesson I had planned. I forget the schedule. I couldn’t think about how to do my job. I thought about the fact my word counted for nothing, they didn’t believe that I wasn’t a criminal. They had to find out. My word was not enough for them. My ID was not enough for them. My handmade one-of-a-kind knit hat was an object of suspicion. My Ralph Lauren quilted blazer was only a “puffy coat.” That white woman could just walk up to a cop and talk about me like I was an object for regard. I wanted to go back and spit in their faces. The cops were probably deeply satisfied with how they handled the interaction, how they didn’t escalate the situation, how they were respectful and polite.

I imagined sitting in the back of a police car while a white woman decides if I am a criminal or not. If I looked guilty being detained by the cops imagine how vile I become sitting in a cruiser? I knew I could not let that happen to me. I knew if that were to happen, I would be dead.

Nothing I am, nothing I do, nothing I have means anything because I fit the description.

I had to confess to my students that I was a bit out of it today and I asked them to bear with me. I had to teach.

After class I was supposed to go to the openings for First Friday. I went home.”

~Steve Locke

I can feel his pain.

“You must be doing something wrong because you are [fill in the blank].”  Is a blanket form of prejudice. It can be used in racism, sexism, and for anyone who doesn’t fit the status quo.

The part of his story which had the biggest impact for me was;

“Something weird happens when you are on the street being detained by the police. People look at you like you are a criminal. The police are detaining you so clearly you must have done something, otherwise they wouldn’t have you.”

This is my own experience. While the local cycling advocates tsk’d tsk’d over me for legally and safely cycling on a public road. People assumed I had broken some law. That I was wrong to be cycling. All sorts of excuses were given as to why it was acceptable for the cycling community to leave me out to hang.

“I wouldn’t cycle like that.”

“You are giving cyclists a bad name.”

“You shouldn’t be on that road. It isn’t safe.”

All of these were excuses to justify their own fears and soothe their conscious, while my life was being systematically destroyed.

Can you imagine if members of #BlackLivesMatter; instead of supporting Steve, instead chose to focus on what he was wearing? Or the way he walked on the street? You would think, “how absurd!” And yet! This is exactly what happened to me.

I’m not black, but if I had been, would it have been a race issue? I’m not talking about the #AllLivesMatter group or reverse racism. I’m talking about why, we as a society leave some people to hang, while others are given empathy. There are no incremental levels of injustice and wrongdoing at the hands of the police or judicial system. If it was wrong to do to Steve, then it was wrong to do it to me.

I hope you felt empathy for Steve. I hope his story kindled anger in your heart over the injustice that he experienced. And I want you to feel that same anger about all the other injustices that are happening to people. But more than that, I want you to do something about it. I want you to be there for people. I mean really be there.

I want you to do one more thing.

I don’t want you to reduce Steve to victimhood. He is a strong, smart, capable adult. He deserves to be treated with respect. Black people deserve to be treated as “expected and respected” members of our community.

And when cycling advocates are advocating for cyclists. I don’t want you to reduce them to victimhood. Because we are not victims. We are strong, smart, capable adults. Cyclists deserve to be treated with respect. They deserve to be treated as an “expected and respected” part of traffic.

From my own personal experience, I have heard it all. I can not begin to tell you how heart achingly frustrating it is to explain to people that I hadn’t done anything wrong. I hadn’t broken any laws.

No laws were broken!

Yet, I was ticketed and arrested anyway.

Professor Steve didn’t do anything wrong. The cops were being lazy and targeting any black male in the neighborhood.

The only thing protecting Professor Steve was his status as a professor.

The only thing protecting me was the color of my skin.

And neither of those things should have ever been a part of the equation where police and judicial bullying are concerned.

The fact that neither of us were breaking any laws should have been the only protection we required.

Furthermore, my status as a woman was enough to embolden my antagonizers both in and out of the legal system.

Don’t think for one second that because you are a man, white, or have social status that it can’t happen to you. Eli Damon can tell you that even those won’t protect you if you are a using a bicycle for transportation.

What happened to Steve, Eli, and myself should show you;

It can happen to you.

Start demanding positive changes.

Now!

Why do you use the road like that?

Rachel @Kentuckygirl844 “…how many of those cars behind then actually have to be out and how many are just in the way “exploring.”

Grammatical errors aside.

I want to explore everything that is wrong with this tweet.

  1. It isn’t any of your business why other people are on the road. It is a public road and everyone pays to use it. When, how, or where they use it is up to them.
  2. “how many are just in the way” No one is ever in anyone else’s way on a public right of way, also known as a road. It belongs to the public and the public has the right to use it. These roads are first come, first served, and duty of care. We show compassion for other road users. We yield the right of way to those who were there first. It is courteous, it is wise, and it shows others that we have a heart beating in our chest.
  3. You have nothing better to do on a terrible winter day except to sit and wonder about what other people are up to? Lucky you! This is a picture of those who are not so fortunate. So how about a little compassion?
  4. “Adulting.” Only adults use the roadway. Only adults use cars on the roadway. This isn’t any place for “other” road users. If you aren’t adulting on the road then you are in the way. “Exploring” is for kids. So GTFO!
  5. If they are out there having a light hearted romp in the snow; is it really any of your business?

I think  your tweet says more about you than it does the people using the road.

This is why we can’t have nice things!

Snowing
I’m more concerned with the driver of the SUV. Why doesn’t he have his lights on? It’s your right to be on the road but you do have to show regard for other road users. Safety first!

 

Who needs a safe passing law? SB 80 Part II

When a cyclist is on the highway are they any more vulnerable than any other person on the highway?

Before we can answer that question we first need to explain what a highway is. The definition for Highway is listed in KRS 189.010 (3).

“Highway” means any public road, street, avenue, alley or boulevard, bridge, viaduct, or trestle and the approaches to them and includes private residential roads and parking lots…

We have a highway and within the highway is a Roadway or synonymously a Lane; and KRS has a specific statute for those lanes. KRS 189.340 (6) (a)

A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as may be practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety;

If everyone is following the law and more importantly the spirit of the law; the spirit of the law being safety, then there isn’t any harm to any road user and no need for extra measures of protection.

Unfortunately not everyone feels duty bound to operate their vehicle with due care.

A lot of people are under the misguided notion that speed grants extra privileges.

KRS 189.390 is very clear that there isn’t a right of speed on Kentucky’s Highways.

An operator of a vehicle upon a highway shall not drive at a greater speed than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the traffic and for the condition and use of the highway.

Traffic: The ​movement of ​vehicles or ​people along ​roads, or the ​movement of ​aircraft, ​trains, or ​ships along a ​route. Via: Cambridge Dictionaries Online.

What is the purpose of a safe passing law?

The purpose of a safe passing law is to give the police a statute with which to cite the offending person. It also provides lawyers and insurance adjusters something tangible when trying to ascertain fault and how much liability goes where and with whom.

Did this explanation bring up a mental image of buzzards picking over roadkill?

That would be because this law is what I term an “after the fact law”. There isn’t any visual guideline to show a person operating a motor vehicle just how much space is three feet. Often times that three feet puts the cyclist’s head right under the motorists tire. Should the cyclist fall over, their head would be squashed. Bicycle helmet included.

Have you ever heard of Dr. McCarroll?

[Dr] June McCarroll, a physician in Indio, California who started experimenting with painting lines on roads in 1917 after she was run off a highway by a truck driver. In November 1924, after years of lobbying by Dr. McCarroll and her allies, California officially adopted a policy of painting lines on its highways. A portion of Interstate 10 near Indio has been named the Dr. June McCarroll Memorial Freeway in her honor.

Painted lines give drivers a visual marker with which to judge distance.

It is safer to have a stated change lanes to pass law than it is to have a minimum three feet law. In Kentucky there are drivers who will fail to understand KRS 189 and give only the minimum passing distance. And in a state which educates teen drivers that it is OK to driver 10 mph over the posted speed limit; see Transportation.ky.gov/Drivers Licensing Documents Page 5. giving a cyclist the minimum distance when passing at 10 mph over posted speed limit; is a recipe for disaster.

Our car culture has created a social, cultural, and legal norm for people to kill, without penalty, on our public right of ways.  It’s the “Oops I didn’t see them syndrome” and it is bullshit.

The driver of an automobile is bound to anticipate the presence of pedestrians upon the streets of a city or upon rural highways, as well as to exercise reasonable care that he does not injure them after he is aware of their presence. O’Dowd v. Newnham 13 Ga. App. 220, 80 S. E. 36.

A safe passing law is a band aid on a gaping wound.

A safe passing law is an after the fact law.

Do we need it?

Yes.

We need it because it is a start. Not the best example of a start, especially when other states are making better statutes from which we can draw from. But it is a start none the less.

We also need it because the infrastructure here is substandard.

Misguided advocates are pushing for bike lanes (think paint) on highways with 45 to 55 mph.

Gallons of paint will never replace the infrastructure we so desperately need. Nor will it replace urban designed spaces which give precedence to walking, public transport, and biking.

We are terribly entangled in car culture which is choking the very humanity out of us.

If you are wondering what we can do to make it better.

We can form a statewide advocacy group and lobby for better laws. Laws which require city planners to take into consideration all users of our public highways. Laws which specify dense urban planning as opposed to sprawling communities which are harder and more expensive to maintain. We need laws which require a one year mandatory probationary period for new drivers, mandatory retesting every four years, and an education program enacted in our schools. Driving school should have a required bike law and safety instructional forum.

We need a multi pronged approach to cycling and more importantly pedestrian safety.

Tiered licensing which ensures that teenagers are truly ready for a license to operate a vehicle. An exception for farmers children to operate farm equipment in the natural course of their duties. But not to operate non farm equipment on public highways.

Lower speed limits as a means of changing the culture of speed along with enforcement of speeding during times where operating a vehicle at speeds under the limit but higher than is safe for road conditions. Mandatory slow down laws when pedestrians or cyclists are present. Policies which make separate infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians a mandatory part of all construction. Policies which ensure that for every 100 people there are adequate shopping districts within walking distance. Wider and better sidewalks. Enforcement of stop lines. Elimination of right on red. Timing streetlights to favor pedestrians and cyclists. Narrower streets and wider bike lanes and sidewalks.

Vulnerable road user laws which enact stiff penalties for harming any road user with their vehicle.

When we pass another vehicle we are required to pass in the lane adjacent to the vehicle being passed. We are required by  law to pass left of the center of the highway. To pass with enough clearance to avoid a collision or to cause the vehicle from being passed to have to slam on their brakes to avoid a collision. These are the laws. These are for safety. These ensure the courteous use of public roads and when those laws are broken the best possible outcome would be a citation. The worst would be a collision and people hurt. All too often these brazen flaunting of laws are unobserved and the confidence of the abuser is increased. The police can’t be everywhere but we can create legislation enacting a police task force which takes these complaints and investigates them and if found guilty penalties applied.

Remember the opening question?
“When a cyclist is on the highway are they any more vulnerable than any other person on the highway?”

The answer which you may have realized by now is No. We are all vulnerable on the highway. While there is a hierarchy of how much vulnerability each user has, we are each of us putting our lives at risk by walking out our front door.

We need more, we need better, and we need it now!

So let’s start with three feet and then demand more.

I’d rather have miles of this…

bikeINFRA

Than miles of this…

DowntownLexington.PNG

 

How far did you get buddy!

Someone posed the question: “When controlling the lane, how do you handle the motorist or passenger that yells, points or beeps and says get out of the road? Yell back, shake your head, wave, wave w/one finger, try to educate them or something else? Thanks!”

Here is my response.

My daughter who typically blows kisses and hollers love ya!, got caught up in a motorists obvious rage a few days before christmas.
We were coming out of Oxmoor mall and heading to St. Mathews mall. We determined that the middle left turn lane was our best option to avoid merging traffic trying to get on and off the interstate.
A motorist flipped his lid that we were in the left turn lane and started honking outrageously. At first I ignored him as he was pretty far behind us and I thought he was honking at traffic in general. The old man driving the minivan managed to get up to the left of us and started the aggressive honking again. My daughter and I had been feeling pretty stoked up to that point. After everything we have been through a chance to decompress over the holidays was really rewarding and this turd broke the mood.
My daughter became very agitated as we advanced and passed the driver and then as the flow of traffic goes, we caught up to him and passed him.
Here is where it gets funny.
At the time it wasn’t funny.
So my daughter gets really angry at this guy who shat all over our peace and in an italian gesture puts her hand up and says “how far did you get buddy!” She is looking at him the whole time and I scream at her to look out. She caught herself in time to avoid serious injury but still managed to rear end the car in front of her.
At first we were both kind of shaken. No one was hurt and there wasn’t any damage. The driver looked in the rear view mirror and I waved. They shrugged and went on.
Now we laugh about it and when someone honks or is rude to us, we look at each other, smile, and say “How far did you get buddy!”
My personal opinion is do what you want. In that moment at that time your response is yours and I would never judge you are criticise you for acting the way you chose.
My only advice is to not let them rile you up to the point that you lose control of your own safety.


I would like to add.

Some people operate under the illusion that we can control the behavior of those around us. The reality is that we can only control our own behavior.

There isn’t any shame in losing your temper and the adage that “Civility is free” holds true. To each his own. Sometimes I smile and wave, sometimes I holler fuck you. It just depends on the situation, my mood, and if I feel my life was in peril by their actions.

Mostly I would just like to see this bad human behavior of judging other peoples reactions to potentially life altering situations come to an end.

How far did you get buddy!

My daughter.
My daughter.

She sits thoughtfully at a charity event. She had at this point won 3 frozen turkeys. Seeing a family that had not won anything she gave them one of the birds and gave the other one to another family.

Now I know

The image at the top is what happens when cyclists ride on the edge of a highway. This is our story on how we learned the easy way to stay safe.

When I first started out, I didn’t have a clue but now I know.

I know that the biggest problem with getting people to accept cycling as a viable means of transportation is not a lack of bike lanes. It is instead the human condition. What we lack is knowledge and critical thinking skills. This idea that you have to be “fearless” to ride a bicycle on certain roads is complete bunk. Knowledge of the laws and why we have said laws or rather the lack of such knowledge is far more crippling to cycling than the lack of bike lanes.

How can I be so sure?

Because I was faced with the choice of keeping my kids locked up and confined to a small town. A town which doesn’t have a single movie theater, museum, or anything remotely kid friendly for entertainment. A town that moved it’s one form of entertainment a.ka. the local library, and put it so far out of reach that we had to ride our bicycles through a high-speed road where dump trucks were accessing the entrance to the local rock quarry. A town where there isn’t a single bike lane and all roads are driven at 35 mph or greater regardless of signage. A town where a family of five burned up in a fiery high-speed crash and a pedestrian was mowed down while crossing her residential street to visit a neighbor.

My choice was to educate my children on how to safely group ride from one town to the next.

In the beginning they were nervous and my youngest said she was down right scared. I told her that if we decided it was too scary we would turn back and go home.

So we discuss our route. I explain where we are going to ride on the shoulder and I explain where we are not going to ride on the shoulder. I explain the different movements that vehicles make and discuss driving theory 101 with them.

We pretend to be people driving cars and one of us pretends to be on the edge as a cyclist. They get a first person experience in a closed environment and learn about why people drive the way they do and how we can prevent common mistakes.

We start out.

The first thing we do is turn onto the shoulder at the junction of Wichita lane and U.S. 27. Very quickly we approach that section where riding on the shoulder is no longer safe. Motorists go flying past us at full speed. 60 mph + onto the off ramp. We are not a part of traffic. We are irrelevant to them. We stop and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait. It starts to get tense. Sitting still while cars go flying past you is very uncomfortable. There on the edge my daughters fear rises as motorists blindly fly by, her anxiety climbs. I’m feeling it too. As soon as it is clear, we dart across the on ramp and continue on the shoulder. Things go well. My daughter starts to feel better and before we know it we are now at the off ramp. This is the junction where U.S. 29 meets U.S. 27. It is important to note that these ramps are marked as 15 mph. However they are engineered in such a way that you can take them at full speed and take them at full speed the locals do.

We all stop in the center “no mans” land. It was the shoulder but now it is an island of doom. Cars are whizzing past us on both sides. The break comes sooner than last time and we make our way onto the road. This time we do something different. We ride the travel lane. The shoulder here is like all the other shoulders covered in rumble strips, broken glass, gravel, bits of metal shards and other garbage strewn across it. The travel lane is smooth and worry free.

As we bike down the high-speed road I ask my daughter how she feels. “This is a lot better than the shoulder” she says, I was surprised. Shocked really. I was sure that she would “feel safer” on the shoulder. My daughter explains: “When I was on the shoulder all these cars were just whizzing by us like weren’t even there. Once we were on the road it was like they saw us and a lot of people slowed down and passed us at slower speeds. I didn’t have to worry about someone running into us”.

We ride the travel lane over to Etter Dr. and after we make it through the intersection we move back to the shoulder at my request. Both kids were asking why we had to be on the shoulder. My son was saying “Come on mom. We can be in the travel lane. Let’s just move over.” I was determined to keep us on the shoulder and we kept on going. Right up until we came to Raising Cane’s. This is another section of road where the engineers designed a nice high-speed right turn. My fear is that someone will take that right turn at typical speed and plow right into us. So we waited and waited and waited and waited for traffic to clear. Then we carefully navigated the rumble strip and we rode the travel lane. Once again the anxiety that had been building in the kids quickly dissipated and even though we were honked at and screamed at by passing motorists. Everyone enjoyed their ride in the travel lane. People in cars noticed us. They slowed down to normal speeds and acknowledged us with honks and screams. We shook our heads at the sorry ass motorists and kept on biking.

We went through the intersection and just like before, we signaled and moved onto the shoulder. Same thing again. Ride the shoulder, anxiety increases, fear mounts, and then we come to an area that is no longer even remotely safe to be in so we move over to the travel lane and the anxiety decreases, the fear disappears and we are safer than we were before.

Motorists are anxious. They don’t like us to be in the travel lane. They honk at us. Scream at us. Call us idiots. But we are not idiots. We feel safe and carefree in the travel lane. It was after all built and engineered for traffic. The rules of the road are dictated by the lane. We are following the rules of the road and it feels good. My daughter laughs. My son shrugs his shoulders and rolls his eyes. Life is good.

As we wait at the light that intersects Business U.S. 27 from U.S. 27 I ask them if they want to move over to the shoulder after we get past the on ramp. They say “NO”. We are safer here in the lane they insist. I shrug and say o.k. but inside I am bursting with pride. My kids are smarter than Andy Clarke of L.A.B. infamy and Carl Overton of Lexington who at 30 something is afraid to ride his bicycle on anything other than 25 mph roads.

Cars drive past in the left lane. We ride on in the right lane. My kids are practically bouncing up and down on their respective seats. “This is fun!” my daughter screams at a motorist who aggressively honks as they pass us. They flip her the bird. She laughs and flips them the bird back. “Fuck them” she says. I chide her on her language. “They flipped me the bird first.” she says. We agree to let it go and continue our ride.

We make our first pit stop at Catnip Hill Road. We stop at the BP and get sodas. We talk about the route so far. We discuss how we felt on the shoulder as opposed to the travel lane. My kids are practically walking on air. They high-five each other and shout “We are riding the travel lane.” and off we go.

We take a left from Catnip Hill Road back onto U.S. 27 and this is where the safety of the travel lane is re-enforced into our mental psyche. As we are riding along a motorist comes flying out of a local strip mall shopping center and slams to a halt right on the shoulder. You can see from the tire marks on the pavement that this is normal motorist behavior. My son says “Good thing we weren’t on the shoulder”. My daughter says “Yea, they would have hit us for sure.” We ride on.

As we continue down U.S. 27 I point out the potholes, rumble strips, and broken pavement. They point out the rocks, gravel, and broken glass. We all agree that the travel lane is best.

We had a great time in Lexington and half the fun was traveling there. We rode back home without incident and on the way back my daughter said “I can’t believe I was afraid to ride my bike.”

Fear for fears sake

or

Fear of the unknown

Propaganda fueled rhetoric about making cycling safer isn’t helping anyone. So shut up and put up. If you can’t ride the ride then you have no place deciding what is or isn’t safe.

zma12536
There are not any side roads to get to Lexington. All of the roads are high speed roads. So we pick the one that takes us directly to our destination. It also has the added benefit of being a multi lane road.
cm1969
We are traveling from Nicholasville to Lexington. U.S. 27 is the safest and most direct route.
IMG_20140315_120040
Nathan has his back to the camera. Elena is looking out towards Main St. in Lexington.
IMG_20111029_105914
Elena. Bicycle adventurer. She loves exploring the town on her bicycle. She says “Sidewalk riding isn’t safe.”
IMG_20111105_195405
Nathan. He likes to visit his friends. He gets around on his bicycle. Nathan says “Who needs a car when you have a bicycle?”

I need your help

I am being prosecuted for Wanton Endangerment 2nd degree. My crime? Riding my bicycle on the travel lane.

Before you flip your lid, as some have done.

Please understand.

I did not start out operating in the travel lane. I used to have an old style Sun-EZ recumbent and I used the shoulder almost exclusively. Figuring out how to navigate the shoulder was no picnic. In some locations the shoulder was literally covered in a half an inch of debris. I used the travel lane only when necessary. I was afraid of the people operating their vehicles.

There was one incident where I was traveling home and I was trying to share an un-share-ble lane. The motorist who approached me from the rear almost hit me at an intersection. This was in Fayette Co. and there are not any shoulders at this intersection.

The motorist began to berate me and hurl verbal abuse at me.

I rode on and we met up at the next light where he continued to hurl abuse at me. I called the police.

Fayette Co. police officer took the report and advised me that I was not required to share the lane. He said the entire lane was mine. I didn’t not believe him but I wanted to see the law for that. He didn’t mention any specific law. So I kept riding the edge.

After I graduated to my first road bike. I found the shoulder very unsafe to navigate on two wheels. I used the travel lane more frequently. I went on my first club ride and realized that I was not in very good shape. I had lost a lot of weight at this point but I was still not in great shape.

So I spent a lot of time recovering from that ride.

I continued to use the shoulder, even when it was dangerous for me to do so. Every time I tried to use the travel lane a motorist would harass me.

I was very vocal with the police about the treatment I had been receiving. I often reached out to them for help. They often refused to help. I quit asking for help.

When things would get really hairy I would call them. Not much was done.

Motorists started chasing me down. Driving on the shoulder. Chasing me down, while driving on the shoulder.

It was nuts. I tried taking an alternate route home. That was worse. They could barely manage to share a 5 lane road. They sure as heck were not going to share a 2 lane road. All of them 55mph. Did you see that? All alternate routes are 55mph. The worst ones are two lanes. Zero shoulder. Gravel lined ditch on either side.

All with lanes that are not able to be shared. It was horrifying to watch them pass me with oncoming traffic. I was scared to death that someone would be killed. So I stuck to US 27.

To make a long story short. They started ticketing me for using US 27.

Ky state law is clear. I have not broken any state laws. Even Jessamine Co. recognizes how dangerous it is to operate on the edge. They have banned bicycles from sidewalks. I was told by a police officer that using the sidewalk is illegal in Jessamine Co.

Using the shoulder is illegal in the state of KY.

That is why they made an exception. The exception states that bicycles MAY use the shoulder. KY understands that the shoulder is not always the safest place to be.

Whether you agree with where I ride or not. You do agree that bicycles have a right to be on the road. Even the L.A.B. has said Bicycles have a fundamental right to the road.

I have an attorney. I have just enough for his retainer. I still need your help.

I know times are hard for a lot of folks. You don’t have to donate if you can’t. But please share this. Share it far and wide. Because someone who knows someone just might be able to help and the fact that you shared it with them is a huge help in and of itself.

Thank you!

http://www.gofundme.com/8uvfkw

 

42.03 HARASSMENT OF BICYCLISTS

 

42.03 HARASSMENT OF BICYCLISTS.

“a) It shall be unlawful to engage in any harassment of a bicyclist operating a bicycle on or adjacent to a public roadway, path, sidewalk or other public or private area. b) “Harassment” shall be any act which shall unreasonably disturb a bicyclist or cause a bicyclist to have a reasonable fear of imminent danger, including but not limited to: 1) making threats or engaging in hate speech towards bicyclists; 2) throwing any object at or towards a bicyclist; 3) increasing speed, decreasing following distance, or decreasing lateral (lane) separation when approaching, driving alongside or overtaking bicyclists; 4) excessive, unwarranted or unlawful use of a horn in proximity to bicyclists; 5) taking any action to aggressively swerve towards bicyclists; 6) attempting to stop or block the path of a bicyclist; 7) attempting to force a bicyclist into a fixed obstacle, ditch, curb, parked car or other impediment; or, 8) engaging in sharp acceleration for the purpose of creating a greater than normal accumulation of vehicle exhaust. c) Violation of this Section 42.03 shall be punishable by a fine of not less than Three Hundred Dollars ($300) nor more an One Thousand Dollars ($1,000). A second or subsequent violation of this Section 42.03, or any violation that results in physical contact between an alleged offender (or their vehicle or property) and a cyclist, or a crash or physical injury, shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) and/or thirty days in jail.”

What we need to advocate for is not more “Bad Bike Lanes” but equitable laws.  Bike lane laws reinforce the notion that we don’t belong there. Just the very presence of a bike lane is enough to get motorists frothing at the mouth. Never mind all the dangers present in it, dangers that no motorist would put themselves into.

But!

We are expected to do just that. And if we don’t?

Then let the harassment games begin.

The idea that somehow we don’t really belong on the road is reinforced by discriminatory behavior and harassment of cyclists by motorists in general.

Being harassed doesn’t feel good. Ever!

Riding a bike feels good, but only when one is not being harassed.

This is a good law. One which should be adopted by every state.